Telegram messenger has filed a lawsuit against Florida-based Lantah company, which intended to launch its own cryptocurrency named “Gram”. The lawsuit was filed on May 11 in the Northern California District Court in San Francisco.
According to the Telegram’s claim, Lantah LLC violated Telegram’s service mark rights by filing for a trademark application concerning the word ‘gram’. Telegram is claiming that it already holds the trademark rights to ‘gram,’ which it had used to conduct a “highly successful offering of Purchase Agreements.”
According to Telegram’s lawyers, Lantah filed an application for trademark registration after Telegram had launched closed rounds of funding for its future Telegram Open Network (TON) platform. Therefore, the messenger accuses the company from Florida that it intentionally misleads consumers, using the untwisted Gram brand from Telegram.
“Lantah’s unauthorized use in commerce of a service mark that is confusingly similar to Telegram Messenger’s GRAM mark has caused and is likely to continue to cause confusion or mistake, or to deceive consumers and potential consumers, the public, and the trade concerning an affiliation, connection, or association between Lantah and Telegram when there is no such affiliation, connection, or association,” – the lawsuit documents reads.
At the same time, Daniel Jeffrey, the principal owner of Lantah LLC claimed in a letter to CNN that, contrary to Telegram’s allegations, Lantah began using Gram trademark before Telegram decided to sell the product under the same name. The fact that both companies filed their applications to register the Gram trademark in February 2018 brings much controversy to the case.
Telegram has sold its Gram virtual coins in two private pre-ICO sales with the intention to allocate the raised funds to the development of a decentralized network compatible with the Telegram application. Early in March, the company managed to raise $850 000 000 from 94 accredited investors. Equal amount was collected during the first pre-ICO round in February that involved 81 investors.
The launch of the TON test network is scheduled for the second quarter of 2018. The main net is supposed to become operational before the end of this year. The project whitepaper promises the creation of an umbrella ecosystem that will be capable of processing millions of transactions per second while also incorporating file storage, a DNS service, an ad exchange and multiple other services.